Friday, September 26, 2014

Some thoughts on Community - An Update


Earlier in the summer I shared about community and how I finally decided to jump in feet first and make the most of the time I had left in Woodward. I was honestly surprised and a bit blown away by the various responses from that post; responses and e-mails that people were there or had been there too.  

I don't know how to describe how full my life has been the past few months and to be honest, I can't take credit for it. It's almost as if when I fully surrendered to God and accepted where He had me, He made relationships flourish. I'd have to say I'm super blessed and it did make leaving all the more difficult. 

I wanted to share a few of the people and relationships God has put in my life. I hope these stories will be an encouragement and inspiration to you. 

Good to Go - I talked about the coffee shop where I work, the one behind the dinosaur, and I'd have to say through there I met a vast array of amazing local people! I loved getting to know who they were, what they spent their time doing and of course what coffee they loved. I had a wonderful lady who came in all the time. One day she asked if I'd like a pen pal while I was in Asia?! YES! I totally would. So, now I have a wonderful new friend and a pen pal while I live abroad. 

The friend who trained me there kept telling me about this girl named Kendra. She said we were so much alike and that we would be friends. One day this girl came in and I just knew it was her (creepy, right?) but we did become instant friends. We had some good laughs and some really good chats.

Jenna - Jenna and I attended the same church. I'm sure we said hi in passing but we never talked much. Well, I ran into her at the farmers market, I then saw her in OKC, then again at the post office. I figured that was a sign we should be friends. =) We then became friends on FB and she randomly sent me a message with a link to a really pretty scarf from Etsy, which is ironic because I'm a scarfaholic. It's been fun getting to know her. 

Small Group -  I have to give credit to my small group because we only attended 1 - 2 times a month. The rest of the time we were in Wichita or traveling. Our friends there took us in and ministered to us no matter how often we attended. Before we left they had a going away get together for us. They asked lots of questions about our mission work in Burma, played games and then our small group leaders prayed over us before we left. I'm so thankful to know people care about us and invest in us spiritually. 

Dave's Work - My husband's work took us in from day 1 but this past month they have just blew me away. They took us out to eat, showered us with gifts, love and appreciation. I'd say they are more like family than just a work team and we sure miss them. 

Kinzie - My good friend here that helped keep me sane during all my big Burma decisions. Kinzie is my friend that would listen to me and point back to God to keep me in the right direction. I'm sure thankful for you, Kinzie!  

Crossfit - My crossfit friends have been just as supportive! We all went out to dinner and it was nice to get to know people more and to share about the work in Burma. 

Okay .... so, after I wrote all of that it just sounded like a big journal entry, which is what happens when you move, but I think the lesson is this: wherever you are dive in! If you are somewhere for 1 month, 1 week, or 1 day give it all you have. Get to know people. The more you bless others and get to know them the more you will be blessed. We were made to be in community with others so jump in, friends! 

What's community like where you are? 

Do you feel like you have a support group where you are at? 

What is a way you can serve and encourage someone today? 

11 comments :

  1. ha ha. You are cracking me up! I asked the same thing =) I honestly sometimes get nervous eating around people who only eat Paleo but they don't care that I down a burger with bread and fries. We actually went to a local join that serves burgers / grilled stuff and veggies so there were options for people.

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  2. That's too cool, that you were able to build a community in only a limited amount of time! We have been very purposeful about trying to build strong relationships from our first day here--sometimes lack of language skills inhibits that, but we've felt so welcomed by our new community here, and we are so incredibly thankful for that, because we recognize that we are outsiders, but they welcome us anyways.

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  3. Such an encouraging post! Thanks chica!

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  4. I love this, I remember you posting about it then encouraging to get out and make connections with people I was around. This might be weird to say but I'm proud of you- being intentional about community is no easy thing! And I love what you said about whether you're in a place for a week a month or a year... Sometimes I feel like I'm just "in between" and therefore don't make a huge effort to create community but know I should

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  5. I'm glad to hear you are building a community. Some of the dearest people I met in Korea were ones with whom we couldn't speak the same language. A smile and 'sign language' go a long way. I was always amazed how the locals welcomed us right in. I'm glad you are having a good experience with that.

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  6. You are very welcome. Thanks for reading and I'm glad it was encouraging. =)

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  7. Thanks for your encouraging words, that was really nice of you. I definitely understand being 'in between'. I feel like that is how a majority of my life was this pas 1 1/2 years. I'm hoping I learned from this past year and will jump in right away wherever I'm at.

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  8. When I read your first post about community this summer, I was on vacation. I told my husband about it while we were hiking and we had a lengthy talk about how I was going to get more involved with our community when I got home. Then, I started getting pregnancy sickness, so my plans have been slightly delayed. BUT I have a big list of things to get me more involved and I'm ready to start tackling it. The fact that you made this many connections in such a short time makes me happy and motivated. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  9. I'm so happy to hear that you want to get more involved in community! Booo for pregnancy sickness but I do hope you get better soon, which I think you are? What is on your list to get more involved?


    Also, have you heard of MOPS? I have on idea exactly what age group of kids it is for but I know it is for Moms and their kids. Some of my friends have gone and they absolutely love it and make the best of friends from those groups.

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  10. I just googled MOPS. There are definitely groups near me! This is something I am going to need to look into, it sounds fun. Thanks for the info!

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  11. Yay! I'm glad there are groups near you. I hope they work well for you.

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